Stages of Creating a Solid CRM Sales Pipeline

Milica Begovic December 15, 2021

If you happen to work in sales, you’re well aware of the fact that the sales industry doesn’t support the one-size-fits-all approach. If anything, in this day and age, rapid customization is gaining momentum and turning into an avalanche of new possibilities. Sales reps know that people want to be singled out as individuals. 

The buyer persona is hungry for your attention! Are you listening to its needs? If not, it’s time to listen carefully, as this will eventually lead to magnified opportunities, a larger customer base, and ultimate business success.

Nonetheless, sales come naturally for some large businesses through client referrals and strong marketing strategies. But mid-sized and small organizations may have inconsistent, if not unpredictable, sales. This is where creating a CRM sales pipeline can come in handy, along with this article manual. 

Switching up, adding, and removing stages is also an option when creating a proper sales journey for your customers. 

Main Stages of a CRM Sales Pipeline

Before we begin, we must understand the meaning and significance of a sales pipeline. It represents a summary of upcoming sales opportunities that a manager can use in order to anticipate the potential revenue generation and expected cash flow. 

Companies that utilize a CRM sales pipeline can create a data-driven environment that shows past, current, and future performance. When facing an obstacle, they can always turn to this data to aid in decision-making. This may include hiring new staff, managing the advertising budget, training new and existing employees, and many more.

Although we can’t apply the same logic to every business, some stages are the same for any B2B sales quest. Listed below are the stages of an effective CRM Sales pipeline:

1. Prospecting

Business discovery is a huge deal when it comes to overall business success. The buyer persona wants to get to know you through IRL networking, content marketing, trade shows and events, and social media. This is the part where targeting parameters are utilized for message delivery to potential customers. These buyers fit right into your existing client base and are ideal customers. This is the stage where you attract them. 

2. Lead qualification

This is a process where a large list of potential prospects is verified. This is where you offer additional material, where you can easily spot their interest in your product/service. While reviewing their behavior, you can determine their decision-making ability, buying power and analyze their needs. Use your CRM to gather and record this information as it will aid in the coming stages.

3. Meeting/demo: Actively selling

The third step is the introduction. Scheduling a demo or a meeting with your potential buyers is a step that further explains your solutions and offerings to them. This is a point where you can determine whether this is a strong business opportunity for the lead to get a proposal or not. Using CRM software such as Antelope will allow you to automate follow-ups, handle scheduling, track interactions, all the while the sales force is actively selling and pitching your products to your leads. 

4. Proposal

By the fourth stage, you’ve analyzed your buyer persona, and you allocated their needs. Your product details have been ironed out, along with service terms, so the client is ready to receive the final sales proposal. This particular part of the CRM pipeline is where your prospects are on the brink of closing the sale. Don’t forget to set reminders so sales reps can be notified about clients that received a proposal but haven’t finalized the deal.

5. Negotiating and Commitment

Negotiation is what aids in getting to an agreement that works best for both sides. Not all proposals will be accepted on the first go. Your CRM needs to have a negotiation deal stage. This will show you and the sales team which deals need some fine-tuning and which ones will be held after the first proposal.

6. Purchase

After the deal is struck, it enters the closing stage. If the deal ends with a sale, onboarding, the new client can begin. A quality CRM software can help with facilitating the process by offering payment processing, documenting, storage, and management. Remember that every sale needs to be tracked, even those that don’t end up being signed and sealed. This will aid the sales force in determining missteps and adapting their proposals accordingly. 

7. Post-purchase

In the business world, the sale is closed only after the first contract is signed. Instead of doing so, be sure to follow up on your client. Provide exceptional service while onboarding prospective clients, and be sure to monitor your account’s progress. This is important because there will be times where you’ll be able to cross-sell to existing clients and offer new products/services or give them premium solutions. While you’re at this final stage, be sure to ask satisfied clients for referrals to other customers. 

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